By a circumstance of miscommunication, I found myself yesterday in western Rhode Island, which is a brand of desolation I've really never seen anywhere else on earth. I have managed to avoid this part of the state since 2009. This was after the planned stop at Scituate Reservoir, which was plenty desolate enough, a flat blue desert of beneath a vast blue void, rimmed about with pines. It made me want to lay down and shut my eyes and clutch the ground. But then there was the surreal landscape of western Rhode Island, to put the reservoir in perspective, to remind me that there's desolation and then there's desolation. The stunted, leafless trees, most of the hardwoods somehow grown to precisely the same height, the bare branches raking at the wide carnivorous sky. It is the definition of anxiety, that place. An agoraphobic's worst nightmare raised by a power of ten. And there's the strange aridity that one finds in Rhode Island, but even where there are damp, boggy places, the only hint of green are the briers. Not even the skunk cabbages are visible yet. And after forty minutes of that, well – yesterday was my worst day since whenever my last worst day was.
Whatever else there was to yesterday, it was only a ruin of the day.
More and more, I doubt I'm going to survive this place.
Resistance, Peace, and Compassion,
12:50 p.m., 41˚47'21.26"N/71˚36'15.92"W, View to the east